Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Previews: STRAZ' Broadway Stars of the Future Winners Heading to NYC For the Jimmys!

Broadway Star of the Future Award Winners H.B. Plant and Alonso High School students Maggie Musco, 17 and Christian Meany, 17.

Throughout the school year, high school musical productions in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Manatee Counties were reviewed by a panel of adjudicators, who submitted a nine-page critique to the Straz Center for Performing Arts.

Twenty-three schools, 20 productions, and 32 high school performers were reviewed. Among the categories considered were outstanding actors, actresses, technical design, orchestra, and set design. Nominees in the Best Actor and Actress category were submitted to perform in the Broadway Star of the Future Award Showcase at the Straz Center.

The Broadway Star of the Future Awards Showcase is Tampa Bay area's regional awards program affiliated with the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) or the Jimmy Awards, named in honor of James M. Nederlander, renowned Broadway theater owner and producer.

Among those selected to perform in the showcase were H.B. Plant and Alonso High School students Maggie Musco, 17 and Christian Meany, 17.

Christian has been a Patel Conservatory student for several years and was nominated for his role in Big Fish as Will Bloom. Maggie, 17, was nominated for her portrayal of Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and of Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.

"We based it (the award) primarily on their performance in the school, but then we brought those 32 nominees in and had them perform their best song from their show. That really was phenomenal," said Suzanne Livesay, Vice President of Arts Education at Straz Center for the Performing Arts. "At the end of the showcase, when we had to decide our best actor and best actress, it was hard because they all had won our hearts. We'd got to work with them through the week getting ready for the showcase. It turned into a local high school Tony Awards."

Little did Maggie and Christian know, by the end of their June 4 showcase performance that they would be chosen to represent The Straz Center at The Jimmys in New York less than a month later at Minskoff Theatre.

Presented by The Broadway League Foundation, on June 26, The Jimmys will recognize outstanding vocal, dance, and acting performance and offer the opportunity for Maggie, Christian and the other nominees to work with professional directors, coaches, producers, meet with agents and casting directors and be considered for several recognitions, including a $10,000 college scholarship.

"The Jimmy Awards has 72 students from all over the nation. Each performing arts center selects one boy and one girl to go to New York to represent their district," said Christian. "Two are then selected from the Jimmy Awards."

A future FSU political science and theatre major, Christian said that he was most excited to be around so many other extremely talented people. "I can't wait to talk to them and learn about their experiences in theatre."

Students live in the dorms at NYU Tish Center and rehearse daily with Broadway coaches and professionals, NYU faculty and other leaders in the industry.

"For nine days, they coach them on their songs, teach them a dance number, put together medleys from the shows in preparation for the Jimmys. On their final day, they perform on the Minskoff stage," Suzanne said. "We're very excited. Eva Noblezada was former Jimmy Award winner. She went on to play to play the role of Kim in Miss Saigon."

The accredited Patel Conservatory offers classes in dance, music and theater for students of all ages and experience levels. Each year, the Patel Conservatory and the Straz Center's arts education programs enrich the lives of more than 70,000 students in our classrooms, on our stages and through the community.



Previews: SANTAS ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE at Straz Teco Theatre Photo
Twenty-two Patel Conservatory students, ages 10 to 18, perform in this action-packed holiday play, assisted by eight apprentices. The student apprentices design most of the show, from full costumes to the colorful video-game-influenced set.

Review: Kander & Ebbs Brilliant, Terrifically Terrifying CABARET at the Asolo Rep Photo
It's a technical marvel from all aspects, with an outstanding cast beautifully directed by Josh Rhodes.

West Coast Players Presents HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR FAMILY AT CHRISTMAS Photo
West Coast Players will present William Missouri Downs' How to Survive Your Family at Christmas, directed by Jimmy Chang, from December 2-11, 2022.

Hillsborough County Students Come to Tampa Theatre for American Stage Bilangual Kids  Photo
For many of the students coming to the Tampa Theatre for a field trip this December 5 and 6, Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans will be the first time they will experience live theatre. Not to mention, live theatre with an all-Latin cast speaking both English and Spanish. 


From This Author - Deborah Bostock-Kelley

A twice-published author, multi-time award-winning playwright, magazine writer, theatre reviewer, and newspaper journalist with 30+ years in journalism and business copywriting, Deb was a 2019 Reci... (read more about this author)


Previews: SANTA'S ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE at Straz' Teco TheatrePreviews: SANTA'S ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE at Straz' Teco Theatre
November 29, 2022

Twenty-two Patel Conservatory students, ages 10 to 18, perform in this action-packed holiday play, assisted by eight apprentices. The student apprentices design most of the show, from full costumes to the colorful video-game-influenced set.

Previews: PLAID TIDINGS at Straz CenterPreviews: PLAID TIDINGS at Straz Center
November 21, 2022

In this sequel, a heavenly phone call from Rosemary Clooney inspires The Plaids to return for a posthumous Christmas performance to bring a little harmony to a discordant world. With music from the 50s and 60s combined with traditional holiday standards, this “heaven-sent” holiday confection promises to fill the audience with nostalgia for a bygone era.

Previews: THE NIGHT BEFORE at FreeFall Theatre CompanyPreviews: THE NIGHT BEFORE at FreeFall Theatre Company
November 21, 2022

The Night Before imagines four friends snowed in Florida on December 23. They make the best of an odd weather situation, gathering around the piano for a night of fun, music, and games, accompanied by a surly house cat named Stephen Sondheim.

Previews: A NUMBER at Off-Central PlayersPreviews: A NUMBER at Off-Central Players
November 11, 2022

'Most every script you pick up begins with some sort of description, by the author, about the setting, time, place, etc. With A Number, Ms. Churchill gave us three words: ‘Where Salter Lives’ - that throws the door open to virtually any possibility,' said junior director Alan Mohney.

Previews: A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 at Tampa Repertory TheatrePreviews: A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 at Tampa Repertory Theatre
November 8, 2022

Under the direction of Stephanie Gularte, this award-winning comedy features a recognized cast of L. Peter Callender (Torvald), Emilia Sargent (Nora), Karla Hartley (Anne Marie), and Bria Matthews (Emmy.)